Box spring bed hardness – how hard should the mattress be?

The degree of firmness of the box spring bed is important in order to not only sleep comfortably but also healthily. The mattress keeps the spine in an optimal position and prevents an unnatural posture during sleep.

The wrong degree of hardness can lead to back pain and other diseases. These are not only uncomfortable, but also significantly reduce the quality of life. Fatigue and pain are part of everyday life if the box spring bed has the wrong degree of firmness.

So that you are better informed about which box spring bed hardness you have to choose, this guide will explain it to you.

Sleeping comfort has a significant influence on your well-being. You may not have noticed it yet, but you spend around a third of your life in bed. It should therefore be obvious that this time should not be a burden on the body, but rather relaxation. Extrapolated, this is more than 2,900 hours a year that you only spend on the mattress.

The hardness of the box spring bed is an essential influencing factor for your own health and a high level of sleeping comfort. This determines how much the mattress gives way to the body weight. A soft mattress lets the body literally sink in , while a hard mattress ensures a stable surface .

An ideal sleeping position is such that the spine forms a line. With soft mattresses there is a risk that the body sinks too much at the center of gravity and the spine kinks there. Both the neck and the trunk area can be affected by this kinking.

As a result, neck and back pain occur. Therefore, when buying a box spring bed, it is extremely important to observe the right degree of hardness in order to sleep healthily for the next few years.

Here you can find out how to choose the right degree of firmness for the mattress.


If you are wondering what a box spring bed is , this question is already explained in my other article. In contrast to the slatted frame, the hardness of the box spring beds is divided into five degrees. At first glance, these indicate how soft or hard a mattress is.

The degree of hardness 1 describes the softest variant and up to degree of hardness 5 the mattress becomes more and more stable. To choose the right box spring bed, you have to decide for yourself which degree of hardness is both comfortable and healthy for you.

In addition to personal taste , it is primarily body weight that determines the decision in favor of certain degrees of hardness. A very light person or a child will find the same mattress to be harder than a person who weighs more than 100 kilograms, for example.

But first I would like to introduce the degrees of hardness and their properties.


With the box spring bed hardness level 1 , the softest variants are presented. These are suitable for particularly light people who weigh less than 60 kilograms . This is especially true of children.

However, box spring beds with this degree of hardness are an exception in the trade. Compared to normal beds, box spring beds are a bit softer anyway. Therefore, the softest degree of hardness is only preferred in exceptional cases by very light people.

Hardness level 2 has therefore established itself as the lower degree of hardness. If you weigh more than 60 kilograms, we do not recommend buying a mattress with a degree of hardness of 1. Posture damage will very likely be the result.


If you prefer a soft lying position , the mattress with a value of H2 is more suitable for you. This variant is one of the most popular mattresses and is particularly popular with women and people with a body weight between 60 and 80 kilograms .

With this box spring bed firmness, the mattress is perceived as soft, but at the same time a minimum of support is offered. If you like to sleep on your side, this degree of hardness is perceived as pleasant in box spring beds, as the shoulder area can sink in so far that the cervical spine is relieved


Overall, the most popular box spring bed hardness and the most common in bedrooms is hardness three. This is recommended for people who weigh between 80 and 120 kilograms . For the upper weight limit, however, the manufacturer’s recommendations should be observed. Sometimes the limit can be as high as 100 kilograms.

This degree of hardness is particularly suitable for those who sleep on their backs . It’s firm enough to stabilize the entire back and prevent the lumbar area from sagging. In this way an optimal position of the spine is achieved.

If you want a more “average” bed and are neither restricted to a firm or soft mattress, you are right with the degree of hardness 3.


If you need a harder box spring bed for your sleep or if you weigh more than 120 kilograms , there is a degree of hardness 4. These mattresses are called extra firm or ultra firm by the manufacturers. This should underline that these variants belong to the harder box spring beds.

This degree of hardness is suitable for stomach sleepers . These are given a sufficiently high level of stability and do not have to worry about the back sinking in too much in the stomach position.


Similar to degree of hardness 1, the hardest variant is also more of an exception. There are a few in stores, but many manufacturers no longer even list them.

If you weigh well over 120 kilograms or if you prefer an extremely hard mattress, this degree of firmness is suitable for you.

However, it is an exception and hardness level 4 is considered common for hard box spring beds.


With the available degrees of hardness, only the levels from H2 to H4 are generally used. The extremely soft or hard variants are an exception that is hardly taken into account by the manufacturers anyway.

But how do you find out which, based on objective criteria, is the right degree of hardness for you?


The body weight plays an important role in finding the appropriate hardness. The division according to weight classes is simple. However, the fact that body size also has an influence on hardness is neglected here.

If the body weight is distributed over a larger area, a larger number of springs are responsible for holding the weight. Very heavy but small people need a slightly harder box spring bed than people of the same weight, but who are bigger.

Therefore, the calculation of the body mass index is helpful . This is defined using the formula from (body weight in kilograms) / (body height in meters) ²

This formula is used to set body weight in relation to height. The result can be used as a guide for classifying the degree of hardness.

The following classifications appear sensible.

BMIDegree of hardness
under 20H1
20 to 25H2
25 to 30H3
over 30H4


The BMI is only a yardstick that can be used to find the optimal degree of hardness. The sleeping position also has a significant influence on how hard the box spring bed should be.

Side sleepers should make sure that the degree of hardness is not too high . Otherwise, this could lead to the cervical spine sticking out upwards. A slight drop in the shoulders and hips is necessary to achieve a straight line in the spine.

Those who sleep on their stomach, on the other hand, need a medium to hard mattress. The spine adapts to the stomach and if it sinks in too much, this also affects the back. The stomach should therefore lie as straight as possible and in this way give the back the necessary stability..

The sleeping position for people who sleep on their backs is also similar to those of people who sleep on their stomach. If the box spring bed is too soft, the lumbar spine and shoulders sink too much. A hollow back is created, which can cause long-term damage to the back.


When choosing the degree of hardness, age also plays a role. Younger people benefit from slightly harder mattresses that stabilize the spine and offer good support.

However , when you are older, from around 60 years of age, you should consciously choose a softer box spring bed. It is gentler on the back when it can sink in better. Slight curvatures in the back have less of an impact than at a young age, where postural damage is to be feared.

As you get older, the focus is on protecting your back.


If you are looking for the right degree of firmness for your box spring bed, you would of course like to be able to rely on the manufacturer’s information. After all, you have already calculated your BMI and based on that you have a rough idea of ​​what is best for your back.

However, an investigation by Stiftung Warentest has shown that the information is often inadequate and does not correspond to the truth. The degree of hardness is not always reliably declared , so that you should not only go according to the official classification when choosing.

It is better if you test the box spring bed including mattress in detail and another person assesses the position of the spine. This is possible even for laypeople and they should above all make sure that the head and feet are in one line and are straight towards each other.

If the degree of hardness is too soft, the hip will sink in too much and a clear curvature will be noticeable there. On the other hand, a too hard execution is characterized by the fact that the hips and shoulders are too high.


box spring bed is also well suited for children to ensure an optimal sleeping position. Under certain circumstances, the slatted frame can lead to postural problems if the child moves around frequently. Starting from the middle, the hardness is different than with a box spring bed and there is an uneven load on the spine.

Analogous to the weight classification already made, it is advantageous for children if they sleep on degrees of hardness H1 or H2.

The spine is still very sensitive in childhood and a variant that is too hard could lead to postural damage. A soft box spring bed, on the other hand, enables gentle development, so that you can choose the right degree of firmness for your child with H1 or H2.


Now you should know how hard your box spring bed should be. Depending on your body weight , height and sleeping position , the firmness of the box spring bed should be tailored to you.

In any case, it is important that the spine has a straight line and is not curved to the side if you sleep on your side.

There should be no hollow back on the stomach or back while sleeping.

In addition to the objective criteria presented here, the sleeping position should be checked by a specialist salesperson or a friend in the shop. This way you can be absolutely sure that you are choosing the right degree of hardness.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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